2014 | Business Informatics
Josef Seidl reports about his studies in Deggendorf and the fulfillment of his big dream: The foundation of his own business.
After I completed my Bachelor's degree in Business Informatics in Deggendorf, I was drawn to nearby Munich. I had a very specific goal in mind: to start my own company. I wanted to find out whether the vision of my own future really suited me - a kind of prototyping for my own career profile.
As usual with prototyping, I tried to find out as quickly as possible and at the same time with as little risk as possible. Parallel to the foundation of the company, I enrolled in the consecutive Business Informatics Master at the TU Munich. In the end, I even completed it with very good results, including an interim stay for my master's thesis at the renowned Stanford University in Silicon Valley. However, we liquidated the company after almost two years.
The end of the story? Although the company didn't work out, it was clear that nothing suits me better than entrepreneurship. Setbacks are the rule rather than the exception - I had to learn. Dealing with them is a personal challenge that makes your own life journey so varied and exciting.
After completing my master's degree, I therefore fully committed myself to self-employment and founded INNOSPOT GmbH, a company that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data Analytics to make the global start-up landscape transparent and accessible for companies. We scale innovation worldwide by bringing companies together with the best start-ups to jointly drive innovation and create positive value for our world. I have been doing this since 2017 as founder and CEO together with a team of 12 employees.
Reminiscing allowed: remember your student days
My studies in Deggendorf were an incredibly defining time for me, during which I learned a lot about myself. Originally, it was a great dream - and many years before that a very distant dream - for me to be able to study in Deggendorf. During my time at BOS, I often strolled along the dam of the university and imagined how I would study here one day. The dream came true and opened doors for me that I hadn't even dared to dream of as a teenager.
During my studies I tried to absorb everything possible. I remember the educational and fantastic time in the student convent of the university, in the faculty council, in the board of directors of WI-Project e.V. and great evenings with fellow students in the Deggendorf nightlife. I especially remember the time during the flood of the century, when I founded the student aid organisation "Deggendorf tidies up" together with a fellow student. The students of the university made an extremely valuable contribution to the city and the people of Deggendorf.
I have very intense and positive memories of my semester abroad at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The time in liberal California changed my view on many things once again and, in addition to all the other activities during my studies, gave me the great confidence that I could make a difference in the world.
What advice would you give to today's students?
1: Do it! Far too many really intelligent people I have met along the way can imagine founding a company, but are still waiting for "the idea". My own experience with INNOSPOT: To realise your dreams as an entrepreneur you don't have to have "the idea". Much more important than the actual idea is the team with which you turn the idea into reality. That is why we have taken a completely new path in founding INNOSPOT: First the team, then the idea.
2: Reflect. Only when I have really done something and then reflect on it do I get a solid assessment of what I enjoy and whether I have (developed) a passion for it. Life is a large collection of experiments and just like in chemistry, many experiments go wrong, some succeed and some are groundbreaking. But I can only make these experiences if I try out as many things as possible - be it internships, student jobs, semesters abroad, starting my own business - and evaluate things honestly for me later. That is why I can only encourage everyone: Try out as much as possible during your studies. Use this unique playground to discover what really fulfills you without any risk for you. And always have fun doing so :)